Only in York County

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Ask Joan: Special Dogtown follow-up edition, part 1

Today’s installment of Ask Joan is specifically dedicated to following up on Jack Bupp’s call for memories of Dogtown, which was published back in this July column; his father owned a grocery store there and Jack was looking for others who, like him, recalled the area.

I can honestly say that few topics have stirred up more detailed memories.

Jo Anne Wolf of the Thomasville area wrote, “Dogtown was a big part of my teenage years in the very early 70’s. We used to ‘hang out’ at the store, when we weren’t hanging out at Jim McNally’s house. I believe it would be the same store that Mr. Bupp was speaking of. They had a pool table in a back room and I think I remember an arcade game. Many good times were had there. Thanks for bringing back good memories.”

Ira Keech, meanwhile, says, “When I was young I lived on the 1700 block West King St. and on Sundays my neighbor man would take his kids and my brothers and I for a walk. We would always stop at Bupp’s store for ice cream.”

Then there was Jackie (VanGorder) Harkins, who wrote, “We grew up in the 1400 block of W. King St. Next to the Met-ed power station. My brother, Jack and I (Blondie/Jackie), would ride our bikes down that big hill to get a soda or candy – some treat from that store. Maryjanes were one cent. You got two malted milk balls for a penny and ice cream pops were a nickel. There were twin boys who lived next door and my mom would visit with their mom. Those were wonderful summers. Thanks for bringing back those memories!”

Evelyn Shaffer was another who shared. “I was raised in West York and Dogtown was one of our hang outs. We used to play around the quarrys back of Dogtown. I remember my grandmother taken me along to Bupp’s store, she mention something about Buppy (as she called him) being her cousin or or somehow being related. We had good times in Dogtown. You keep reminding me of some of my good times, a lot of places that were around when I was in grade school.”

Another commenter, Davida Godden, had a funny take on things. She writes, “Dog Town is Old Salem Road. The road runs in a kind of arc behind W. College Ave, Ext. I don’t recall the grocery store, but do personally know the residents of 1472 Old Salem Road. That is in Dog Town. I was born in 1970 and I remember growing up my parents telling me to stay away from that place, all the bad kids hung out there, and so forth. Of course, that is where I met most of my friends, and the father of my first child. So I guess, yes mom, the bad kids did hang out down there. But whatever the Dog Town Crew were up to, they were good people at heart. I still run into and talk to many of them. Those that are still with us, anyway. We still tell stories about when we were younger and things we did there, the fort in the woods behind the houses, the fights, the friendships, the good, the bad.”

Many of you know frequent commenter John Loeper. He also remembered Dogtown and writes, “‘Dogtown’ was a neighborhood that was about 4 blocks long and three blocks wide between W Princess Street and Zinn’s quarry. I lived on W. Princess Street in the 1500 block as a youngster and one of my best friends has a paper route (not the YDR but the Dispatch… sorry) that included all of Dogtown. I would walk along with him from time to time and, because I knew the entire route as well as he did, I would substitute for him from time to time. Bupp’s store was near the end of the route and in the summer an ice cold Pepsi from Bupp’s was always a must. They had pinball machines as well that took many a nickel from me. I had a paper route of my own that covered an area on the other side of Princess Street and I found the folks in Dogtown to be much nicer. Even though the Dogtown route had fewer papers to deliver it always took longer than the other route because the Dogtowners usually wanted to gab when you delivered their paper or collected the money.”

I actually have two MORE memories of Dogtown to share, but those will come in tomorrow’s post. I hope you’ll check back – because this has been an incredibly fun topic!

Got any questions? Ask Joan using the form at right. I’ll attempt to answer them in a future “Ask Joan” column on this blog. I get a large volume, so it might take me a while, but I hope to be able to answer as many as possible!

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